Real life lessons: How to drive away rishtas

Published: September 12, 2011

Cut your hair short, fart constantly and tell them you are a lesbian - the rishta aunty will go running.

Showing signs of puberty is all that a member of the fairer sex needs to land herself her very first rishta. Though some girls might love to bask in the glory of getting the most suitors without even having to progress to a B-cup, several others despise it.

In fact, I have a hoard of acquaintances and friends alike who had to come up with ingenious, and sometimes drastic plans to act as an interlude to their mom’s ‘hunt for the perfect male’. So, I’ve decided to compile a few of their best ideas for anyone who might be in need.

Get a haircut…

Or make some other drastic change to your appearance which is not acceptable in your social surrounding. One of my friends chopped off her beautiful mane of knee length hair to a short Victoria Beckham like cut. This may be appropriate, or even appreciated in some parts of society, but where this girl came from, it was enough to drive away the rishta aunty who had been hounding her for quite some time. Other possible things that you could do is either get an obnoxious tattoo somewhere visible or get multiple face piercings.

Stop using deo…

 I mean it. A week without proper hygiene is enough to make any rishta fly away faster than you can say ‘jahaiz’.

Make up a fake boyfriend…

 Pull the old Hindi movie stunt on your parents. Want it to be more dramatic? Do it in front of your suitor. Tell them you’re madly in love with someone else. Throw in a suicide threat too, just for good measure.

Get a real boyfriend…

 What’s better than a fake love-of-your-life? A real love-of-your-life. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only been dating a couple of weeks, assure your parents that he’s a doctor, or a doctor’s son, or even remotely related to the field of medicine. It should be enough to placate them for a while.

Tell them you want to be a doctor first…

 As mentioned in the last point, anything to do with medicine will work. You see, the only thing desi parents love more than saying: ‘My daughter is getting married to a cardiothoracic surgeon’ is, ‘My daughter is studying to be a cardiothoracic surgeon’. Make sure you mention to your mom how you’re doing this to kill two birds with one stone: Bragging rights for them and the good doctor rishta that you will surely find for yourself in your five years at med school.

Tell them you’re a lesbian

 Beware, only do this if your parents are extremely open minded and willing to accept people of all sexual orientations. Otherwise this could backfire. They might end up marrying you to the first available straight male in order to rid you of this demon.


 Master the art of flatulence. It’s the perfect human repellent.

Tell the suitor your best friend is a guy…

You immodest slattern! How dare you even talk to the opposite gender?’ At which point you must tell them that it’s purely platonic because, you know, you are in fact a lesbian.


 You know when they told you a girl’s best weapon is her smile? They were right. In this scenario, the smile is to be used a little differently though. Every time your rishta guy comes up with some insane theory about his principles in life and about how the floods of 2010 were actually an American conspiracy, give him a smile. Not an encouraging one, a patronizing, sympathetic smile. If he’s enough of a Pakistani male, he’ll pick up the remains of his bruised ego and never bother you again.

And lastly,

Tell them your views….

on abortion, family planning, gay rights and the legalization of marijuana. ‘Nuff said.

*Although these tips are tried and tested, the writer bears no responsibility for the consequences. Proceed at your own risk fair sisters.


Sara Muzzammil

An A level student based in Karachi who is interested in art and blogging. She tweets as @saramuzzammil

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • H

    Ah god I lol’d.

    +1 to this article for lesbianism.Recommend

  • asad

    hahahh brilliant! thank god for sarcasm. ET truly understands the wit of the new generation.Recommend

  • lucky

    legendary article :D
    great job Sara !!!Recommend

  • Kinzah

    that just spoke to me!!!! :)Recommend

  • TheTruth

    This was about as funny as 9/11.Recommend

  • Imad

    How about trying these steps yourself first,after all charity begins at home….Recommend

  • Uzma Khan


  • Ayla Hashwani

    HAHAHA Imad. wonderful. couldn’t agree more!Recommend

  • AssVoilator

    If anyone takes it seriously and does anything dumb, her whole life will be ruined…well done mr./ms./mrs. writer….Recommend

  • Sam Khan

    Did some one ask you to write such stuff or you didnt find any other topic….. lolRecommend

  • Ahad

    This is perfect lol! Best part ” Fart… Master the art of flatulence. It’s the perfect human repellent. “Recommend

  • sara

    borderline insane, with a touch of ridiculous. if this is an attempt at wit/humour – sarcasm, it failed miserably! what on earth is the express tribune printing? i think we have enough problems as it is Recommend

  • Warraich

    Typical ET problem… got an article that should have been better suited & appealing to desis residing abroad rather than Pakis up here… even the humour needs to strike a chord with the audience…. Come on editors hire up a desi born & bred here… he may find better appeal…Recommend

  • Waqar

    haha…… Sara ladki you have wit :DRecommend

  • Anony

    Awesome,thank you! I want a second part of it plz!!Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Rofl! The funniest stuff I’ve read on EP in a long time!Recommend

  • Ovais

    Lol .. you seriously have Self esteem issues …Recommend

  • Natasha Suleman

    Or instead of getting into such cheap tactis and hurting your self-respect, talk to your parents that you don’t want to get married. Easy?Recommend

  • Batool

    Getting a haircut and pursuing studies is surely more realistic than the rest :)Recommend

  • MahRukh H KHan

    Very Funny haaaaaaahhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaa !Recommend

  • Majid

    Genius is as genius does!Recommend

  • Hello

    Sir, Tribune caters to a decent crowd. If your want bad grammar.
    Cheesy wit. Cliched phrases. The exit is that-a-way. I loved this article.
    Please go be desi somewhere else. Articles like this reaffirm my faith in Pakistani writers.

    Also, AWESOME :D ROFLMAORecommend

  • Lone

    Lolzzz. HAHAH. Good one muz =pRecommend

  • Ms Marium

    I’m waiting for the rishtas and you are driving them away – mmmmmmm !Recommend

  • Anon

    This article is incredibly Epic. I haven’t lolled this hard in a while :D
    Power to the people !Recommend

  • Zahra Baray

    Lol…hilarious! Very well written!:):PRecommend

  • Guy

    “Tell the suitor your best friend is a guy…”
    Doesn’t work, the Suitor (being an obvious LOSER!) speeds up the wedding OR tells his future mother-in-law who joins him to speed up the wedding arrangments further!Recommend

  • Chief Marketing Officer @ Sociality360

    Three Words:

    Laxative Laced Tea.

    End of discussion :)Recommend

  • sam

    Funny in some parts, not so much in others. Overall good read thou, and all haters, please get a sense of humour.Recommend

  • Shumaila

    I actually found this really funny, unlike other attempts at humour I sometimes come across. Great work :D Recommend

  • Aimy

    This is awesome! I’ve actually considered some of these, especially the lesbian one! :P

    Legalized marijuana FTW! Recommend

  • Bisma

    Some suggestions were really stupid -.-Recommend

  • Parvez


  • http://[email protected] SYED,MABDULLAH SHAH

    above issue is in good manner if it is implemented by the hearts.
    I think the changes on our society as mentioned above lines drastically not occurred .
    A blondness was seen on everywhere related from that issue.
    the society may not accept the changing because mostly people as( male or female) like the artist of media. their emotions and passions are also observed deeply.
    In these respect the viewers also follow their standard ignoring that clause ,
    their standard are only shooted for the some specific environment.
    But viewers make their standards and then follow their seen.
    this act is very dangerous for innocent people.
    I am not against the personalities of median industry and not against their acting
    but warn those people who are inspired the sexual seen on shoot and then implement it on open atmosphere or real life.Recommend

  • Imad

    Never knew that Cardiothoracic surgery was in that much demand,lagta hai General surgery chorni paray gi… Recommend

  • Talha


    Show them this blog and the “rishta aunties” will run a mile.Recommend

  • RealityBites

    ET lives in a bubbleRecommend

  • najeeb ul hassan

    Madam why to put in so much of efforts why not to straight way say NO for the rishta, i donot know why we guys are up to breaking the social fabric of our country why to transform our self in western society with high rates of drug addiction as result of broken relations. Probably still our society is not that ruined incase of relations thats why we donot understand the importance of relations. ups. Recommend

  • Anonymous


  • Khalid

    We are modern society, still marriage or at least avoiding rishtas by posing dirty remains a primary concern for “Modern” girls of our society. “Aur bhi gham hein zamanay mein Rishtoan ke siwaRecommend

  • Faris

    Amusing piece only because it’s been written by someone who is in her high school, so can truly understand the wit and sarcasm plus the shock therapy that exists at this age.
    But as a sincere advice never ever try these stunts. You should be bold and sincere enough to tell ur parents what u want in life and who u want in life. By pulling these stunts u will just up end up embarassing ur mum. Also, u can always say no after the rishta troupe had gone back home. So brace up and speak up!Recommend

  • aqeel

    Well, few things are said really well. I enjoyed reading this article here in London. But to be honest, not many of these things could be real even if the write her wont be able to try them. By saying herself a lesbo or to fart etc etc. But i liked that the girls in Pakistan have started to write with beautifully n freely. WELL DONE to You.Recommend

  • Sama Ahmad

    I thought the article would be a little funny.. but it wasn’t, at all. Originality was just about non-existent. There was nothing I havent heard before. Furthermore, why the hell would someone ruin their appearance (or change it so drastically?) just to chase off a boy/rishta aunty? And you do realise telling your parents that you have a boyfriend or you love someone might just result in you being killed in the name of family honor. Please be a little more original next time. Recommend

  • mano

    hillarious..the medicine thing is a true depiction of the Pakistani for the haters, you guys seriously need to get a sense of humor/read good articles,books etc/improve your taste and learn to appreciate good piece of writing.Recommend

  • umar

    why you are so desperate not have your rishta? :pRecommend

  • yarly

    Man. Some people really don’t understand humor. Reading the comment’s make me realize that most of the idiot readers don’t really understands sarcasm and irony. You don’t deserve to read good writing.Recommend

  • Fatima

    I was excited to read this article but unfortunately it was pretty rubbish. Whats worse is that its extremely far from reality. The writer cannot seriously be suggesting girls to FART in front of the guests, or tell the prospective in laws stories about their boyfriend?!. This is Pakistan my friend. You need a reality check. AND a sense of humor.Recommend

  • ME

    To all the criticizers: Do YOU have the guts to post something “readable” over here?Recommend

  • Sara Muzzammil

    Thank you everyone for your appreciation and criticism. I’d like to respond to some comments though, they really caught my attention.

    @Ovais: Spot on. People with self esteem issues always tend to publicly state their opinions don’t they? Just to enjoy a few more blows when they’re bashed in the comments section.

    @Natasha Suleman: Easy, but boring. Why make it simple when you could have so much fun with life?

    @Talha: Hmm. I should have added that to the list. ‘Write a blog against rishtas and show it to the Aunties’.

    @umar: Oh no, don’t get me wrong. I love rishtas. I was just trying to compile some tips for my friends who don’t.

    @ME: Heart for you. <3

    @Imad: How do you know I haven’t already tried these? :P

    @Warraich: Ironically, the longest I’ve lived outside Pakistan is 46 days. Recommend

  • Sadia

    Hahahaha, so very accurateRecommend

  • anonymous

    Most Ridiculous article ever!Recommend

  • Iz

    Hahahaha lmao..!! Too funnyRecommend

  • Danyal Kaimkhani

    very imature thats all i gota say Recommend

  • zaini

    damn funny .. but better not to poison the minds with these stupid ideas… i guess a simple NO can solve issues.. after all its a girls right to choose her spouse .. rishta aunties can always be shown the exit door .. sara madam i am sure you have great writing skills.. spend time in writing something fruit full … Recommend

  • Maryiam Sheikh

    Give these following statements a try too while you are it, they worked for me, almost always

    family takes a backseat to career
    if it aint a single house for me and the guy, i am not slaving for the in laws- no sir not me.
    children, heck no! who wants those pamper filled monkeys, i would much rather adopt
    How do you feel about atheism? I have explored all religions, i think it is a waste of time, ( this is for the real chipku aunties- should be the last resort)
    (to the guy) I am a fiercely independent woman, having said that i still expect that whats mine is mine and whats yours is also mine, not your mom’s on the salary date.
    ask him about his political affiliation/affinities. Make a point to say something very rude and refuse on the basis of political differences.
    I am sorry i would have said yes, but he is nothing like what i asked santa for.
    When my friends come over, i expect everyone to go hide in their rooms.

    well these are all that i can remember at the moment, Recommend

  • Ovais

    ET for once have the courage to publish my commentsRecommend

  • Sunny

    It’s a funny read but I don’t think very practical. Gave me a good laugh though.Recommend

  • fatimah

    hmmm the objective of opening up a comments box to respond is to A) see how people react to your thoughts b) to see your credence and need as a blogger in today’s time. While I entirely disagree with your strategy, I must say it’s a reflection of how desperate we are as girls to shun of this serious issues of crazy rishta’s thrown our way.

    Notice how the men reacted negatively :)

    I too disregard your thoughts and hope that we have as a writing community something more important, meaningful and morally/ socially uplifting to write about. I’d rather focus on EQUIPPING our youth with thoughts that are progressive and build their self esteem.

    I have a rule – we are what we click – I am embarrassed that I clicked on your blog.

    The internet has opened the way to mindless blogging and Tribune sadly is leading the mob!Recommend

  • Asad

    Waste of Time ;(Recommend

  • err

    AHAHAHH ,,, quite funny. But you are just being sarcastic, haina ? not serious, right?Recommend

  • Tipu

    Its sheer shame that our girls are getting into all this stuff when in early 20s and when they go into 30s they beg for rishtas but no male accept them at that old age.Recommend

  • MUM

    lol ! Was somewhat unrealistic, but yes it was hilarious as hell. :DRecommend

  • Javeria Mahmood

    What if someone from my family would start hitting me…….. Recommend

  • err

    @Javeria Mahmood:

    If your family does that. I suggest you let them go to sleep. And run away. Any family that hits you is not worth it. :(

    On a lighter note. This article PWNS pakistani suitors who want to get into arranged marriages. Lahooo.. zzaahers :DRecommend

  • fatimah

    @ME: lol are u suggesting that it’s ok to post undesirable and useless ideas since there is nothing readable??? giggleRecommend

  • heer

    What will you u do when after declaring ur self lesbian, lesbians hitting you?
    Very immature piece of writing!Recommend

  • Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    The blog post is funny and worth reading till the end. I remember well how a close friend of mine fended off Rishtas for nearly 4 years before finally giving up and marrying her cousin. Each story that she told us about the recent Rishta was unique to the core and some of the questions these Rishtas (and Rishtay Wali Aunties) ask are startling.
    Having said that we do have to face the harsh reality of Pakistan’s relatively conservative society. Fending off Rishtas is one thing for your education or to stay away from complete loser guys that you hate on first sight … running away from these proposals just because you DON’T want to get married is another thing and that is something between you and your parents. If you don’t want to get married and your parents understand that then marriage proposals will have no impact.
    If you parents don’t agree then a simple no should suffice. Also, in case of a really good marriage proposal it doesn’t have to be early and some time spent as engaged couple should be enough to create an understanding before going for the big decision.
    What I want to emphasis is this: In our societies, fortunately or unfortunately, girl’s age matters at the time of marriage. The longer you refuse, the lesser proposals will find your way and then will come a time when you will be refused instead.
    This doesn’t happen with guys so severely. Even at the age of 36 and even 40 they find young wives of half their ages. Call it whatever but it is a reality and will not go away through wishes.
    Therefor if any of the girls wish to use any method to fend of Rishtas, go ahead and do it but you should be damn sure about your future plan.Recommend

  • Yumoo

    Hahaha, oh the hilarity! One thing’s for sure though, an arranged marriage is a thing of the past, unless the engagement period is long enough for one to sufficiently get to know each other. Otherwise, as the author points out, the entire practise is ridiculous.

    You rock.Recommend

  • Imran

    Quite Filmy and unrealistic..Seems the writer has recently been inspired by some pathetic bollywood movie..She must try this all herself first !!Recommend

  • Raza

    Good one :). Keep it up!Recommend

  • Umar

    This kind of immaturity I’ve only seen in a some Pakistani girls (not all of course). Desi girls living abroad don’t come up with schemes to get rid of rishta aunties. Maybe its the maturity level, maybe its the expectation of a bollywood love story in Pakistan, maybe its the cultural differences in the guys/girls abroad, who knows…Recommend

  • Adnan Yousaf

    If anyone wants NEVER get married then there is a point of such lame excuses else just let your parents know if you dont like “RISHTA”

    There are thousand faces of lie but only one of truth!Recommend

  • Dr. Adnan

    Really, I guess I have to leave Gen. Surgery as well then ! LMAO !Recommend

  • Mj

    Ms. Muzammil, you seem to have struck a raw nerve of desi kurrian.Recommend

  • momo


  • Dr.jobless

    Rings familiar- all of it. But i like the way you’ve stood up for your piece. Recommend